If you’re new to the world of PHP development, you may have come across the term Composer and wondered what it is. In this blog post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Composer, including its purpose, applications in building and managing a website, and the differences between Composer 1 and Composer 2.

What is Composer?

Composer is a dependency management tool specifically designed for PHP, the popular programming language widely used in web development. It helps developers manage libraries and packages they need to build a website or application. Composer simplifies the process of finding, installing, and updating packages, ensuring that your project runs smoothly and efficiently.

What is Composer used for?

When building a website or application, developers often use third-party libraries and packages to speed up the development process and avoid reinventing the wheel. However, managing these dependencies can become a daunting task, especially when different packages require different versions of the same library.

Composer addresses this problem by:

  • Automatically managing the installation and updating of packages and their dependencies
  • Resolving conflicts between packages
  • Ensuring that the correct versions of dependencies are used

Applications of Composer in building and managing a website

Using Composer has several benefits for web developers:

  1. Streamlined development: By handling dependency management, Composer allows developers to focus on writing code and building features rather than spending time on manual installation and updates.
  2. Improved collaboration: Composer makes it easier for teams to work together, as they can share a single configuration file that lists all required packages and their respective versions.
  3. Enhanced security: Composer provides a centralised way to manage and update packages, making it easier to keep up with security updates and patches.

Composer 1 vs. Composer 2

Composer has undergone significant improvements since its initial release. The most notable changes can be seen in the transition from Composer 1 to Composer 2. Here are the key differences:

  • Performance: Composer 2 offers substantial performance improvements over Composer 1, including faster installation times, reduced memory usage, and a more efficient dependency resolution algorithm.
  • Concurrency: Composer 2 supports parallel downloads of packages, significantly speeding up the installation process.
  • Networking: Composer 2 uses an improved networking layer that reduces the number of HTTP requests and provides better error handling.
  • Backward compatibility: Composer 2 maintains backward compatibility with most Composer 1 plugins and projects, making it easy for developers to upgrade.


In summary, Composer is an essential tool for PHP developers that simplifies dependency management, streamlines the development process, and enhances collaboration and security. With the release of Composer 2, developers can now enjoy improved performance, concurrency, and networking features. If you’re a PHP developer, consider using Composer in your projects to make your development process more efficient and productive.

Here at Enbecom, our web hosting packages with command line / shell access support Composer, so you can manage your PHP packages in this smart, efficient way.

Please note: the information in this post is correct to the best of our endeavours and knowledge at the original time of publication. We do not routinely update articles.